William Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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Second Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act I. Scene III.

Scene III.—The Same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter three or four Petitioners, PETER, the Ar-
mourer's man, being one,

First Pet. My masters, let's stand close: my
Lord Protector will come this way by and by,
and then we may deliver our supplications in the
Sec. Pet. Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's
a good man! Jesu bless him!

First Pet. Here a' comes, methinks, and the
queen with him. I'll be the first, sure.
Sec. Pet. Come back, fool! this is the Duke
of Suffolk and not my Lord Protector.
Suf. How now, fellow! wouldst anything
with me?
First Pet. I pray, my lord, pardon me: I took
ye for my Lord Protector.
Q. Mar. [Glancing at the Superscriptions.]
To my Lord Protector! are your supplications
to his lordship? Let me see them: what is thine?
First Pet. Mine is, an't please your Grace,
against John Goodman, my Lord Cardinal's man,
for keeping my house, and lands, my wife and
all, from me.
Suf. Thy wife too! that is some wrong indeed.
What's yours? What's here? Against the
Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of
Melford! How now, sir knave!
Sec. Pet. Alas! sir, I am but a poor petitioner
of our whole township.
Peter. [Presenting his petition.] Against my
master, Thomas Horner, for saying that the
Duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.
Q. Mar. What sayst thou? Did the Duke of
York say he was rightful heir to the crown?
Pet. That my master was? No, forsooth: my
master said that he was; and that the king was
an usurper.
Suf. Who is there?

Enter Servants.
Take this fellow in, and send for his master
with a pursuivant presently. We'll hear more
of your matter before the king.
[Exeunt Servants with PETER.
Q. Mar. And as for you, that love to be pro-
Under the wings of our protector's grace,
Begin your suits anew and sue to him.
[Tears the petitions.
Away, base culllons! Suffolk, let them go.
All. Come, let's be gone.
[Exeunt Petitioners.
Q. Mar. My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the
Is this the fashion of the court of England?
Is this the government of Britain's isle,
And this the royalty of Albion's king?
What! shall King Henry be a pupil still
Under the surly Gloucester's governance?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke?
I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love,
And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France,
I thought King Henry had resembled thee
In courage, courtship, and proportion:
But all his mind is bent to holiness,
To number Ave-Maries on his beads;
His champions are the prophets and apostles;
His weapons holy saws of sacred writ;
His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
Are brazen images of canoniz'd saints.
I would the college of the cardinals
Would choose him pope, and carry him to
And set the triple crown upon his head:
That were a state fit for his holiness.
Suf. Madam, be patient; as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your Grace's full content.
Q. Mar. Beside the haught protector, have
we Beaufort
The imperious churchman, Somerset, Bucking-
And grumbling York; and not the least of
But can do more in England than the king.
Suf. And he of these that can do most of all
Cannot do more in England than the Nevils:
Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.
Q. Mar. Not all these lords do vex me half so
As that proud dame, the Lord Protector's wife:
She sweeps it through the court with troops of
More like an empress than Duke Humphrey's
Strangers in court do take her for the queen:
She bears a duke's revenues on her back,
And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
Shall I not live to be avenged on her?
Contemptuous base-born callot as she is,
She vaunted 'mongst her minions t'other day
The very train of her worst wearing gown
Was better worth than all my father's lands,
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
Suf. Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for
And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds
That she will light to listen to the lays,
And never mount to trouble you again.
So, let her rest: and, madam, list to me;
For I am bold to counsel you in this.
Although we fancy not the cardinal,
Yet must we join with him and with the lords
Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in dis-
As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
Will make but little for his benefit:
So, one by one, we'll weed them all at last,
And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

Sound a sennet. Enter KING HENRY, YORK,
K. Hen. For my part, noble lords, I care not
Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.
York. If York have ill demean'd himself in
Then let him be denay'd the regentship.
Som. If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
Let York be regent; I will yield to him.
War. Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or
Dispute not that: York is the worthier.
Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters
Way. The cardinal's not my better in the
Buck. All in this presence are thy betters,
War. Warwick may live to be the best of all.
Sal. Peace, son! and show some reason,
Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.
Q. Mar. Because the king, forsooth, will have
it so.
Glo. Madam, the king is old enough himself
To give his censure: these are no women's
Q. Mar. If he be old enough, what needs your
To be protector of his excellence?
Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm;
And at his pleasure will resign my place.
Suf. Resign it then and leave thine insolence.
Since thou wert king,—as who is king but thou?—
The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack;
The Dauphin hath prevailed beyond the seas;
And all the peers and nobles of the realm
Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the
clergy's bags
Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
Som. Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's
Have cost a mass of public treasury.
Buck. Thy cruelty in execution
Upon offenders hath exceeded law,
And left thee to the mercy of the law.
Q. Mar. Thy sale of offices and towns in
If they were known, as the suspect is great,
Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
her fan.
Give me my fan: what, minion! can ye not?
[Giving the DUCHESS a box on the ear.
I cry you mercy, madam, was it you?
Duch. Was't I? yea, I it was, proud French-
Could I come near your beauty with my nails
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.
K. Hen. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against
her will.
Duch. Against her will! Good king, look to't
in time;
She'll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby:
Though in this place most master wear no
She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng'd.
Buck. Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds:
She's tickled now; her fume can need no spurs,
She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.

Glo. Now, lords, my choler being over-blown
With walking once about the quadrangle,
I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
As for your spiteful false objections,
Prove them, and I lie open to the law:
But God in mercy so deal with my soul
As I in duty love my king and country!
But to the matter that we have in hand.
I say, my sov'reign, York is meetest man
To be your regent in the realm of France.
Suf. Before we make election, give me leave
To show some reason, of no little force,
That York is most unmeet of any man.
York. I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am un-
First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;
Next, if I be appointed for the place,
My Lord of Somerset will keep me here,
Without discharge, money, or furniture,
Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands,
Last time I danc'd attendance on his will
Till Paris was besieged, famish'd, and lost.
War. That can I witness; and a fouler fact
Did never traitor in the land commit.
Suf. Peace, headstrong Warwick!
War. Image of pride, why should I hold my

Enter Servants of SUFFOLK, bringing in
Suf. Because here is a man accus'd of trea-
Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
York. Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?
K. Hen. What mean'st thou, Suffolk? tell
me, what are these?
Suf. Please it your majesty, this is the man
That doth accuse his master of high treason.
His words were these: that Richard, Duke of
Was rightful heir unto the English crown,
And that your majesty was a .usurper.
K. Hen. Say, man, were these thy words?
Hor. An't shall please your majesty, I never
said nor thought any such matter: God is my
witness, I am falsely accused by the villain.
Pet. By these ten bones, my lords, he did
speak them to me in the garret one night, as
we were scouring my Lord of York's armour.
York. Base dunghill villain, and mechanical,
I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech.
I do beseech your royal majesty
Let him have all the rigour of the law.
Hor. Alas! my lord, hang me if ever I spake
the words. My accuser is my prentice; and
when I did correct him for his fault the other
day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even
with me: I have good witness of this: therefore
I beseech your majesty, do not cast away an
honest man for a villain's accusation.
K. Hen. Uncle, what shall we say to this in
Glo. This doom, my lord, if I may judge.
Let Somerset be regent o'er the French,
Because in York this breeds suspicion;
And let these have a day appointed them
For single combat in convenient place;
For he hath witness of his servant's malice.
This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's
K. Hen. Then be it so. My Lord of Somerset,
We make your Grace lord regent o'er the
Som. I humbly thank your royal majesty.
Hor. And I accept the combat willingly.
Pet. Alas! my lord, I cannot fight: for God's
sake, pity my case! the spite of map prevaileth
against me. O Lord, have mercy upon me! I
shall never be able to fight a blow. O Lord, my
Glo. Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be
K. Hen. Away with them to prison; and the
Of combat shall be the last of the next month.
Come, Somerset, we'll see thee sent away.
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